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Pigs and Humans: 10,000 Years of Interaction

Edited By: Umberto Albarella, Keith Dobney, Anton Ervynck and Peter Rowley-Conwy

500 pages, 93 line illus, 57 photos

Oxford University Press

Hardback | Dec 2007 | #169913 | ISBN-13: 9780199207046
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £125.00 $163/€142 approx

About this book

Pigs are one of the most iconic but also paradoxical animals ever to have developed a relationship with humans. This relationship has been a long and varied one: from noble wild beast of the forest to mass produced farmyard animal; from a symbol of status and plenty to a widespread religious food taboo; from revered religious totem to a parodied symbol of filth and debauchery.

Pigs and Humans brings together some of the key scholars whose research is highlighting the role wild and domestic pigs have played in human societies around the world over the last 10,000 years. The 22 contributors cover a broad and diverse range of temporal, geographical, and topical themes, grounded within the disciplines of archaeology, zoology, anthropology, and biology, as well as art history and history. They explore such areas as evolution and taxonomy, domestication and husbandry, ethnography, and ritual and art, and present some of the latest theories and methodological techniques. The volume as a whole is generously illustrated and will enhance our understanding of many of the issues regarding our complex and ever changing relationship with the pig.

...a multidisciplinary approach that takes into account zoology, palaeontology, genetics, ethnography and archaeology, and researchers with these different approaches have contributed to the many authoritative chapters in this book. It has been well editied, has excellent illustrations and will be of interest and use to readers in many different disciplines. Juliet Clutton-Brock Times Literary Supplement [an] important contribution to the repertoire of zooarchaeological studies Philip J. Piper Antiquity


Introduction; I. EVOLUTION AND TAXONOMY; 1. Current views on taxonomy and zoogeography of the genus Sus; 2. Current views on Sus phylogeography and pig domestication as seen through modern mtDNA studies; 3. The molecular basis for phenotypic changes during pig domestication; II. THE HISTORY OF PIG DOMESTICATION AND HUSBANDRY; 4. The transition from wild boar to domestic pig in Eurasia, illustrated by a tooth development defect and biometrical data; 5. Culture, ecology and pigs from the 5th to the 3rd millennium BC around the Fertile Crescent; 6. Hunting or management? The status of Sus in the Jomon Period, Japan; 7. Wild boar and domestic pigs in Mesolithic and Neolithic southern Scandinavia; 8. The economic role of Sus in early human fishing communities; 9. An investigation into the transition from forest dwelling pigs to farm animals in medieval Flanders, Belgium; III. METHODOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS; 10. Age estimation of wild boar based on molariform mandibular tooth development and its application to seasonality at the Mesolithic site of Ringkloster, Denmark; 11. A statistical method for dealing with isolated teeth: ageing pig teeth from Hagoshrim, Israel; 12. Inter-population variation in recent wild boar from Israel; 13. A dental microwear study of pig diet and management in Iron Age, Romano-British, Anglo-Scandinavian and medieval contexts in England; 14. The histopathology of fluorotic dental enamel in wild boar and domestic pigs; 15. Economic and ecological reconstruction at the Classical site of Sagalassos, Turkey, using pigs' teeth; IV. ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDIES; 16. Ethnoarchaeology of pig husbandry in Sardinia and Corsica; 17. Traditional pig butchery by the Yali people of West Papua (Irian Jaya): an ethnographic and archaeozoological example; 18. Pigs in the New Guinea Highlands: an ethnographic example; V. PIGS IN RITUAL AND ART; 19. Wild boar hunting in the Eastern Mediterranean from the 2nd to the 1st millennium BC; 20. The pig in medieval iconography

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